Blad met gegevens, foto Vladislav Bulatov

Handling research data with care

What about research data retention and retention periods?

When a research project is completed, the research data will need to be stored carefully. But how do you do that, and how long may (or must) the data be kept? On this page you will find more information about this.

Storage data

It is important that data after completion of the research project is carefully stored in line with the Research Data Management Regulations. To this end, the following guidelines apply:

Raw data

At the end of a research project, the raw data should be carefully stored. This can be done on the servers of Tilburg University or on those of another party if a processor agreement has been made with this party.

Data package

All research data (with the exception of traceable personal data) must be included in a data package according to the university's research data management policy. 

The data package (including analysis files and other relevant data) is provided with full metadata and then stored in a Trusted Digital Repository (TDR) such as Tilburg University Dataverse

If a researcher wants to use another TDR and personal data are present in the dataset, these personal data must be pseudonymized and a processor agreement must be entered into with the provider of the TDR.

The Research Data Management Regulation provides more conditions that repositories (data archives) must meet (see Article 4 of the Regulation).

Retention period

  • The retention period of research data is at least 10 years from the date of the last publication. In some cases, a different retention period may apply in case of medical data. Please contact the Data Representative for more information.
  • The directly traceable personal data (mainly contact data and informed consent) may be kept separately as long as necessary. However, a maximum retention period of 10 years after the date of last publication applies. Again, a different period may apply for medical data.
  • There may be national discipline-specific agreements that deviate from these standards; if applicable, these are described in the guidelines for scientific research of the discipline in question.
  • If a research project did not lead to publication, the maximum retention period for traceable personal data (such as contact information and informed consent) is 10 years after the completion of the project.

After the maximum retention period for the traceable personal data (informed consent), these must be destroyed in a secure manner under the responsibility of the manager.